Dear Team,

Few of my superiors have shared a feedback that I am very rigid and I always carry a sad/sorry face and due to this reason am not being approachable itseems..

I feel really really bad whenever I hear this and not sure why people want to connect how my face looks with work.

I have been like this since childhood..My intension is not to keep a sad face but I really don't why my face is like that. I am a happy person by heart and whoever approaches me I talk to them in a very polite and friendly way.

Basically I am a calm and silent person who goes to office to finish all the schedule for the day, guide the team, eat and return home.

I am unable to digest the comment that they shared which I have a fear that it would impact my promotions in future.

I have been with the current company for a long time and they all assume that since I have been working for a long time I am rigid.

I am clueless and feeling disturbed. Kindly assist. I feel what they did was wrong as they should valuate only the work that is being done and not the face value.



From India, Chennai
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Legal Analyst, Hrm
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Dinesh Divekar

Dear Reema,

First and foremost, it is your good luck that you have got feedback about your personality. However, in your post you have not mentioned what is the nature of your job, what is your designation, how many subordinates report to you, what is the length of service in your current company and so on.

Now coming to the happy face. Yes, everybody likes to see happy face. We do become sad nevertheless, people are bound to abhor perennial sadness. The problems of this kind arise because of the following reasons:

a) Family atmosphere during childhood. If it was tense or sad, child takes forward the legacy of sadness.

b) No participation in extra curricular activities during school and college days. No participation in annual gathering, sports events, school/college debates etc

c) No exposure to persons from other caste, creed, religion, language etc. Grooming in homogeneous environment has its toll in the adult life.

d) Parents do not send children to personality development classes that are conducted during summer holidays.

e) Lack of career consciousness. Zeal to grow could missing. How many years you are working in the same company and why you did not change your job? Do you suffer because of inferiority complex? A change of job also helps in building personality.

f) Many times people just imitate superiors and improve. You may not be observing your superiors as to how they carry themselves.

Solution: - So what is the solution for your challenge? You have a challenge to change your personality. You need to come out of the mould you are in. Following are suggestions to do this:

g) Firstly, you need to take advice from image consultant. Services of most of the image consultants come at premium however, if your personality is holding your growth back, then this investment is necessary.

h) Along side, you need to develop networking skills. Build your physical network and not virtual network on social media like Facebook, Linkedin etc. Join some social groups or organisations. Share jokes with them.

i) To develop networking skills, you need to build social skills also. To do this, learn listening skills, questioning skills, interpersonal skills etc. All these skills you may learn on your own. Ample articles are available on the internet or videos on Youtube.

j) Join Toast Masters club. It will help you in developing your presentation skills and communication skills.

k) Watch movie clippings in which happy events are depicted. Find out how actresses expressed their happiness and try imitating it in the home.

l) Has your work been appreciated by your superiors? Appreciation makes one happy. But to get appreciation, you need to demonstrate high-class quality work.

About being rigid: - Do you have fixed mindset? Do you have obsession with any cult (like devotee of some Baba)? Do you see the world through prism of the teachings of this cult? Have you grown in your career? Rigid persons can never grow. Are you above-normal intelligent person? Do you have superiority complex?

Hope the above suggestion will be useful to you. Do not lose hope. Take the feedback positively. You will change but it will require determination.

All the best!

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

dear child
god bless you
though Divekar has given you lot of advice i a near 80 year old man want to give you one task
today is a world of SELFIE.
1. take one shot of yourself with normal face
2. take ten shots of yourself with smiling face
see the results you will know the difference
3. even artificial smile will make other people feel differently about you
as of now do not worry about rigidity we will solve it later .
4. for now solve your personality
dr ram

From India, Indore

child since this is a personal problem it is not a forum discussion problem so please close this topic on net and kindly contact blessings all my services are free dr ram
From India, Indore
Shivaraj S

M/s. Reema,

Greetings for the Day!!!

While our seniors have shared their valuable thoughts and suggestion on the challenges you are facing, I would like to take this as an opportunity to share my thought with the hope that it will resolve your concern to a certain extent.

My first view of reading your query title and content makes me believe there is huge gap between feedback shared by your seniors and the way you see at things. I can certainly assume from your post that while you ensure on completing your work within schedule, you also try to help your colleagues as they approach you.

As pointed out by Mr. Dinesh Divekar, more information about your career profile would have helped us analyze the issue much better. I will assume that since you have been associated with your company for long term seniors are considering you for a leadership position and in such cases you need to ensure you also become more approachable to your team members reporting to you.

I hope you will agree that while you are good at work as you grow up the career ladder you will also need to guide and mentor newcomers and all the members reporting to you including people not so familiar with your work pattern and nature.

Hopefully approaching this issue with open mind and discussing in detail with your seniors, your personal view on the feedback and seniors thought making them provide this feedback help in resolving your concern.



From Bahrain, Manama

Ignore the idiots,
Do your job with sincerity & honestly. Do not at all even try to change your self. You are what you are. If they cannot accept you the way you are, that's their problem, not yours. Just ensure that you intentionally do not hurt them or irritate them. I have seen my close colleague go through the same situation. The more you try to adjust or change your self the more pressure you will feel & the inner happiness and peace of yours will go away.
All the best. Every one is unique and a special creation of mother nature. Hope this helped.

From India, Mahesana
Dinesh Divekar

Dear Hemant,

On the one hand, you have appreciated my comments but while giving reply to the post, you have taken extreme position. Those who give us feedback cannot be dismissed as "idiots".

Success of career depends on our ability to influence others. Yes, quality of the work is one of the ways to influence nevertheless, it works at lower level and as one progresses ladder of career, one needs support from the juniors. Support comes provided they are well motivated.

In the 21st century, one has to depend lot of referrals. However, this referral depends on one's positive recall. One should ask can I have positive recall value of my friends or colleagues?

Nobody cares how a person is at heart. People want to work with persons who are charming, outgoing, extrovert, easygoing etc. While hiring, companies do not hire robots. Happiness is an emotion and it cannot be expected from robots.

I know a person who is not intelligent by his own admission but he is so affable that people feel to provide information to him. Information falls in his lap that he has been utilising for his career progression. However, to gain the brownie points, he never ingratiated anyone anytime. He has such a vast network that one single call within his contact and people provide all possible help to him. In contrast, suppose if he were to be sad and rigid, would he have developed vast network? Would he have built his career? Certainly not!

Reema's managers have not given feedback about her physical features. We cannot change our physical features. However, managers have given her feedback on her behaviour. However, your recommendation is "If they cannot accept you the way you are, that's their problem, not yours." Yours is too rigid position or you recommend to develop self-serving bias in her!

If we recommend her to be inexorable, it could restrict her growth. Those who remain inflexible to others' feedback realise their folly in their mid-forties or fifties. But by the time it is too late and damage cannot be undone. They lay life of regret during their retirement period!


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Team,
Thank you all for your support and advices..This issue had been troubling me for a long time and was bit upset. All your suggestions will definitely help me to survive the hardest situation.

From India, Chennai

Ms. Reema,
My simple suggestion to you is: try to be cheerful in office atmosphere, whatsoever be the environments in family life. Socialising can be the other cause of facelift of your personality. Your face should not show any signs of your seriousness or personal anxiety.

From India, Delhi

Dear Dinesh Divekar, I completely agree to your view point. My apologies as it seemed harsh.
From India, Mahesana

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